ISL Goal Fest: Odisha FC Sign Off With Thrilling 6-5 Win Over SC East Bengal
Bambolim (Goa): In a goal fest never before witnessed in the history of ISL, Odisha FC edged past SC East Bengal 6-5 to end a forgettable season on a winning note at the GMC Stadium here on Saturday evening.
The thrilling victory, however, failed to prevent Odisha FC from ending at the bottom of the 11-team competition with 12 points from 20 matches. They won just 2 games, lost 12 and drew 6.
The first half was normal and went as per script as East Bengal took the lead through Anthony Pilkington in the 24th minute. S Lalhrezuala restored parity for Odisha FC nine minutes later. But custodian Ravi Kumar then conceded an own goal when he tried to clear a ball only to see it roll in off a teammate’s foot.
Changing ends with a 2-1 cushion, East Bengal lost the plot. A mixture of sloppy defending, poor goalkeeping and pressing football by underdogs Odisha FC saw East Bengal let in five goals in a span of 20 minutes.
Young Indian midfielders Paul Ramfangzauva (Hero of the match) and Jerry Mawihmingthanga scored two apiece, while talismanic Brazilian striker Diego Mauricio added one more to his tally to finish with 12 goals in the season.
Having run up a tennis-like scoreline, the excited Odisha FC side leaked two goals to help East Bengal close the gap. Aaron Joshua scored two (60th and 90th minute) and Jeje Lalpekhlua (74th) found the net after two years, but that wasn’t enough to avoid humiliation against the wooden spooners.
SC East Bengal, playing their maiden ISL, finished in ninth position with 17 points.